The Glory Days
Thursday night I finished a superset of inclined dumbbell benching and bentover dumbbell rows (70lb dumbbells – in hindsight I should have used 75). I moved on to use the gym’s new trap deadlift bar. If you’re confused what that is, it’s a bar that allows only a conventional stance and a neutral grip, plus it puts you about one to two inches higher than a traditional bar. I loaded up 330lbs on it to warm up and got ready to lift.
It was then that I noticed two guys were watching me. Not glancing, actively watching from only a few feet away from me. I rattled off eight easily enough, lamenting that I’d left my chalk at home but, fortunately, 330 is a light weight for me so it was easy to do. They wandered away and I loaded up more weight (480lbs).
Before I was ready to lift again I glanced over and saw them headed my way again. “That’s some serious weight, how much is that?” Dude 1 asked. I told him, which visibly impressed him. I mentioned that I used to compete as a powerlifter and that I still fantasized about getting back into it. Then came his next question:
“You must have been huge when you were younger! You’re what, 35?”
I just about took out my hearing aid to check that it was working. I clamped my jaw shut, lest my dentures fall out, and growled out, “I’m 36. And no, I wasn’t huge when I was younger. A little under two years ago I weighed 9 pounds more at my heaviest competition weight.”
“Were you juicing?”
Really? Seriously? Are you freakin’ kidding me?! “No, no juice, just hard work and knowing how to lift and eat right.”
They soon wandered off, which was good because had they stuck around I might have tried to beat them with my cane. A little while later while I had some plates stacked on my chest to make declined sit-ups more challenging I noticed them struggling to get out a few reps on the preacher-curl station with only 50lbs on the bar – and they were helping each other. I think I laughed at them but I might have just imagined it. Give up the curls-for-girls crap and do real exercises if you want to put on size and strength.
Later after my wife and I had gathered up our young children and headed out of the gym we walked past them. I was listening to my daughter ramble on about something she’d drawn, but my wife saw them both stop what they were doing and stare at us as we passed. Apparently they were shocked that an old fogey like me could have a 2 and a 4 year old as well as a hot wife.